4835 Tasting Notes
OK, so I have a bunch of huge tins for tea storage. Not your typical 2 or 4 ounce tins. I’ve got a lot of those too, but what I’m talking about are tins that hold a kilo of tea. Big. These are left over from my previous tea blending days. When I closed the business and started tea reviewing, I turned those big tins into my tea storage for my smaller teas, I’d keep the teas in their original packaging and I’d separate the teas into tea types: Black Teas, White Teas, Green Teas … etc. You get the picture. Well, when I received this tea way back when from Butiki, I stashed it into my Pu-erh tin and forgot about it.
(Confession Time) Because that’s what I typically do with Pu-erh tea. My earliest experiences with pu-erh have left me very scarred and it takes a lot for me to find the courage to brew a pu-erh. Even though now I’ve learned how to best brew pu-erh for my palate’s liking, and I actually LIKE pu-erh tea now. Those memories of my earliest experiences have left me scarred and so when I think ‘pu-erh’ – I think EWW!
Yes, I actually like pu-erh.
Anyway, when I heard that Butiki was planning to leave the tea world, after pouting a while, I decided to search through my teas and see if I had any teas from them that I had not yet reviewed and came across this pu-erh.
I wasn’t planning on buying more tea from them because … I’m a tea reviewer. My purpose (or it was until I decided that after March 31st I wasn’t going to be a tea reviewer any more) is to help promote teas that actually exist. I want to help the world of tea … I want to help the tea companies out there promote their product (or if I don’t like the tea, I want to help them see the error of their ways and fix it.)
But I needed a tea to say goodbye with to Butiki because they have been one of my very favorite tea companies for several years. I could always count on them for yummy teas. I felt confident buying from Stacy because she seemed to embrace what I was about as a tea blender back when I started. She tasted the teas before she sent them out there into the world. She believed in the product she offered. If she didn’t like it, she wouldn’t sell it. I dug that. I really did. Because that was what I was about when I was selling tea. If I didn’t like a tea that I created, I wouldn’t sell it. I would start over with the tea until it was something I was proud of. I wouldn’t put my label (my name) on a tea if I wasn’t happy with what I created.
Wow, this is a long intro to a tea review, isn’t it? My review of this tea isn’t even this long. http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/12/organic-ancient-phoenix-pu-erh-tea-from-butiki-teas/
Anyway … this tea review was to serve as my goodbye to Butiki Teas. That is, before she went off to create teas like “Lime Marshmallow” and “Boomstick” and “Chocolate Chili Truffle” and how the heck do I resist those flavors?
Answer: I don’t.
Anyway … so this tea. Let me talk about this tea a moment: Sweet! A sugary sweetness. The sweetness is stronger than the earthiness, especially in the earliest infusions. Hints of spice. Later infusions had deeper flavors, sweetness with notes of leather and cacao and wood. A very pleasant and complex tea.
I didn’t like the third infusion though. I don’t know why. It was like … nope. And then it got dumped. The fourth infusion was better than the third. Mushroom earthiness, molasses-y sweetness, smooth, mellow and really nice.
A really good pu-erh. All except infusion 3. Don’t do the three. Infusion three can be like a mid-rinse. Yeah. That’s the ticket.
As I said in my opening of the review for this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/12/peach-apricot-tea-from-culinary-teas/ No two fruits say “summer” to me like peaches and apricots. My grandmother (Gramma) had a very prolific apricot tree in her back yard, as well as a peach tree. The apricot tree was a huge tree and it was a ‘tree climbing tree’ so I would climb it and sit up there and eat apricots when I was young.
Instead of making peach cobbler when I was little, gramma would mix both peaches and apricots together and make a peach apricot cobbler and this tea brings back all those memories. When served hot, the peach and apricot flavors remind me a lot of the yummy filling of that peach apricot cobbler. Mmm!
The peach and apricot flavors are good and strong. The fruit essence has been captured well.
A really tasty tisane. I love that the base is both rooibos and honeybush. I love this combination. They seem to bring out the best in each other when they’re brought together in a blend like this.
The nutty, sweet notes are a nice base for the bright, sweet-tart notes of raspberry. The raspberry is a strong flavor.
This is good hot, but I liked it even better after it cooled, which suggests to me that this would be a really yummy iced tea.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/11/rooibos-raspberry-tisane-from-georgia-tea-company/
I was a little surprised to find chamomile blossoms in this tea because the ingredient list doesn’t say “chamomile”. I saw the rosehips and rose petals and blackberry leaves, but I also saw chamomile.
This is a tasty blend. The black tea is robust. It melds nicely with the notes of creamy vanilla. I like how the malty notes of the black tea combine with the notes of vanilla. Really yum.
The bergamot is a softer flavor. When I first read the description of this tea, I thought it would be like an Earl Gray Creme, but it didn’t turn out that way. The bergamot is a bit too soft to be something I’d think of as an Earl Gray Creme. The vanilla is really the main focus of this tea. I still taste the bergamot and the notes of flower, but the vanilla takes center stage.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/11/childrens-hospital-vanilla-black-tea-from-the-secret-garden-tea-co/
A really tasty iced tea. The flavor is very distinct. I like that as I drink this, I know that it is Apple Cider green tea – there’s no mistaking it. I am not trying to search out flavors. I taste the apple and the gently warm spice. It’s yummy.
And even though I taste the apple and spice clearly, the green tea isn’t obscured. It’s sweet and a little buttery. A very yummy tea.
I’ve had this as both a hot-brewed tea (I like that with the green tea pouches – and the white tea pouches – these can be resteeped with no real loss in flavor) and a cold brewed tea. I like it best cold-brewed, so I would cold-brew the new pouch, and then save it to resteep (hot brewed) when you finish off the first half-gallon.
I was approached by Newport Skinny Tea to help them promote their new Malibu Beach Beauty Tea back in November, so they sent me some to try.
This tea has a lot going on. Check out my full-length review for the list of ingredients – wowza! http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/10/malibu-beach-beauty-tea-from-newport-skinny-tea/
It has an interesting flavor. The flavor is a bit more like an herbal tisane than a tea (which I attribute to having so many ingredients). But I liked that I could taste certain elements: I liked that I was tasting lemon and lavender and honeysuckle. Notes of peppermint and elder flower and rose. And I could even still taste the teas (which includes an earl gray!)
It’s a strongly floral tea, but it doesn’t taste perfume-y, just floral. It’s an interesting tea and I enjoyed it. If I decided to go on the 21 day ‘beautification’ from this tea, at least the tea is tasty! It’s a tasty way to get there. I don’t know that the tea actually works the way it says it will, but it’s enjoyable.
This has a very strong vegetal aroma. I can definitely taste the sweet grass flavor. Very grassy in taste.
It’s also sweet, honey-like, and it has hints of mint. This tea has less of a buttery quality and more of a vegetable brothy sort of quality to it. It’s invigorating to drink.
I enjoyed it. I liked the contrast between sweet and bitter (a savory bitter). It is an uplifting drink.
I like this one a lot. I’ve tried a couple other of the MatchaBooster products from Maeda-en and I think this one might be my favorite, I like that roasty-toasty flavor. I like that this product stays incorporated until I finish the bottle. I don’t have to keep shaking it. I do shake it occasionally because I like the little bit of foamy, light, frothy texture that it produces at the top of the bottle when I do shake it, but I never saw that it needed it.
I really like this with just water. I pour a level teaspoon into my favorite 16.9 ounce water bottle and shake vigorously and it’s great like that. It’s also really, really good mixed with coconut water.
Very rejuvenating! Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/09/product-review-genmai-matchabooster-from-maeda-en/
When I first saw the name of this tea, I wasn’t thinking ponies, I was thinking breakfast cereal. Then again, my daughters have outgrown their little ponies, and back when my youngest was into the ponies, they didn’t have an Apple Jack. My youngest’s favorite was Pinky Pie.
Anyway, this is a nice apple flavored white tea. I like that it isn’t a spiced tea, it just focuses on the apple. The light shou mei is a nice base for the apple notes. A nice, apple-y flavor.
This wasn’t my favorite of the apple flavored teas that 52Teas created this past fall, but, I enjoyed it. I especially liked it iced!
Silver Needle teas are among the most delicate teas that I’ve tasted and while this is also a delicate Silver Needle, it’s not as delicate as a Chinese Silver Needle would be.
I got quite a few lovely infusions from this tea. The earliest infusions were sweet, haylike, with hints of melon-like flavors and a crisp, floral note. Later infusions proved to be even sweeter than the earliest infusions.
Very little astringency with this tea. Just smooth, lovely flavor.
A really good silver needle. I’d recommend this to those who think that silver needle teas are too subtle. This one’s very flavorful.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/08/kenya-silver-needle-white-tea-from-what-cha-tea/